In the decades leading up to the 1950's, African American people were denied basic human rights as they were seen to be "lower" and "inferior" human beings. This racial discrimination can be traced back to the days of slavery in the 1600's right up to today in the 21st Century. It has been only in the last 50-60 years that African Americans have been treated as equals. The prime root of this conduct can be seen from the beginning of slavery.
Modern (1500's onwards) slavery started when the Spaniards began importing slaves in 1517. The first African slaves in the now United States arrived at the English colony of Virginia on a Dutch ship in 1619. The slave population grew from then on to approximately 4 million in the mid 19th century. The Civil War was a major part in the lead up to civil rights as it was not only fought for trade tariffs and the doctrine on state rights but also regarding the obliteration of slavery in the new world leading into the twentieth Century.
The southern states of the US were the worst perpetrators of basic civil rights that most white men and women took for granted. Laws that separated white from blacks such as segregation, voting, miscegenation and education were enforced by most governments in the south and penalties ranged from fines to life imprisonment - these punishments were usually only given to black offenders as white juries were always bias. Secondly it was not only the legal system that was giving African American's the hard-line guilty till proven innocent stance but white American groups were to.
The African American population was seen as an "inferior" and lower form of life. Every thing in public life was segregated in a "separate but equal" stance. In real...